The Gospel of Jesus

Herbert W. Armstrong
Feast of Tabernacles - Seaside, Oregon
Day 6 - October 6, 2012

Note:  This is a transcript of an old broadcast Ė a recording of which was played at the 2012 Feast

Greetings friends around the world!  This is Herbert W. Armstrong.

Just what is the connection between conditions and problems in the governments and the nations around the world and the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Why should I, a minister of Jesus Christ, be concerned about meeting with Heads of State and the problems of their governments?  

If people really understood just what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, they would understand its vital relation to the conditions and the governments of this worldís nations.  It may sound shocking Ė unbelievable Ė but very few, comparatively, know what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is.  It was not preached to the world for eighteen and a half centuries, believe it or not.  

That statement, I know, leaves most listeners quite a little perplexed. "Why," they all ask, "havenít they preached Christ to the world all through the eighteen and a half centuries?   Havenít they preached and pleaded with people to accept Christ Ė to believe on Christ?  Havenít they called themselves by His name Ė  that is 'Christians'?" 

Why, of course they have!  But they have not preached Christís Gospel.  They have not preached the all important message that God sent to mankind by Jesus Christ.  They did not believe what Christ said and what He preached. 

When I show you just what is that Gospel, you will wonder why you hadnít heard it Ė except on the World Tomorrow program; or read it in the Plain Truth magazine.

So, even though I spoke on this very subject a couple of weeks ago, I want to carry on further, just now, into the astonishing Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It certainly astonished those that heard it more than nineteen hundred years ago, when Jesus was on earth in person. Not only that; it angered the chief rulers amongst the Jews at that time, so that they sought to put Him to death because of it. 

Why did they crucify Jesus?  Why did they cry out, ďCrucify Him?Ē  It was for no reason at all except the message that He brought and the things that He said Ė and a Gospel that has not been preached for eighteen and one half centuries.

What was the Gospel that Jesus Christ preached?  Let me read it to you right out of the Bible; and I would like you to see it with your eyes, in your own Bible:

Mark 1:
1:  The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God...
14:  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 
15:  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

What gospel?  It was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God! 

At that particular time, He did not tell them to believe on Himself.  They say today that you are to "believe on Christ."  Yes, that is important, and that is necessary; but also it is necessary to believe the message Ė that Gospel Ė and this is what Jesus says in Mark.

The very word "Gospel" means "Good News."  

The people had not heard this news before; and it was news for the future.  It was an announcement that had never been made before; and it was the most important announcement ever made to mankind in the history of this world.  Yet men tried to stamp it out.  Not only did they want to put Christ to death for proclaiming it, but they also martyred His apostles after Him because they proclaimed it.  The apostle John we believe was not martyred, but died of old age.  Believe it or not, my own life has been threatened more than once for proclaiming that Gospel!  Let me tell you, we do appreciate the right of the freedom of speech here in the United States of America. 

Christís Gospel was then the news; and it was good news of the Kingdom of God. 

What is a kingdom?  Well, a kingdom is a government; a kingdom has people; a kingdom is a nation or an empire and its government.  It includes the people in it who are ruled; and it includes the people who are doing the ruling. And governments are ruled by laws. 

The Kingdom of God is Godís government; and God rules by laws.  That is what angers the people, because they do not want to obey Godís Laws and they donít want to obey God.  Yet those Laws are the way Ė and the only way Ė that will cause peace, happiness, prosperity and abundance.  They are the way to everything that you want, everything that I want and everything that everybody really wants.  We all want peace and we donít want to be harmed; we donít want to have fears and worries.  We would like to have the comforts of life and to have an interesting life with always something to look forward to and something that is interesting.  We donít want to have to suffer pain and anguish.  Well, Godís Law is the way to all of these things that we want.

Now, it is true that the Kingdom of God is not of this world, at this time and of this society now.  But it is concerned with the governments and nations in the world today, because Godís government is coming to correct the evils in todayís society, which the governments of this world have not been able to stamp out or abolish.  The Kingdom of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned with world peace, which it is coming to bring.  The purpose of the Kingdom of God is to bring peace to this world, and to bring happiness and eternal life.  The heads of state and the heads of government are striving for peace, but they have not been able to achieve it.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned with all of the problems that governments today have to grapple with, because it is concerned with the causes of those problems and evils which violate the Law of God.  Also the governments today are concerned with universal happiness, peace and joy, which the Kingdom of God will bring.  The Kingdom of God will be a real utopia!

Down through time God has sent His servants before kings and heads of government.  He caused Moses to be reared from babyhood in a kingís palace, so that he was trained in the techniques of government, and so that he could lead Godís people out of Egypt and form them into a new nation.  That was Godís nation.  But they were mortal humans, filled with human nature, like you and I are; so they didnít follow Godís laws very long, which they had promised to do. 

God sent Elijah before kings.  God was concerned about the problems in their kingdoms, and how they were doing things and violating His Laws and bringing unhappiness on the people.  Jeremiah was sent before the rulers of the nations of his day.  

God sent Daniel before the heads of state of the worldís very first empire; and the prophecies in the book of Daniel are inspired as a vital part of Christís Gospel of the Kingdom of God.  They concern government and governments.  

Now God had caused King Nebuchadnezzar to have a dream.  This was way back, 600 years before Christ.  In that dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a huge metallic statue.  God sent Daniel to the King to interpret the meaning of it.

Daniel 2:36:
This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

Now he had said that he himself didnít have any way of understanding anything like this; but he said that there is a God in heaven that is making known to the King what is going to happen in the latter days.  This concerns our time in the twentieth century AD.

Verse 37:   Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

Did you know that the Eternal God is the ruler over the whole vast universe? Ė  that God is concerned with governments and the people in those kingdoms and those governments?  The Gospel is concerned with government, my friends.  It is the Gospel Ė or the Good News Ė of the Kingdom of God; and that is Godís government. 

Verse 39: And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 
40:  And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise... 
44:  And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

This will be the Kingdom of God; and it shall never be destroyed.  This Kingdom will bring happiness, peace and salvation to all of the people in the world.  That was written as a prophecy some six hundred years before Christ.  This prophetic announcement of the Kingdom of God was not proclaimed as a message to the world at that time.  Daniel wrote it in the book and it was never really preached to the whole world until our time now, because the early apostles didnít have the kind of population in the world that we do now.  They pretty well reached the known world at that time; but in all the intervening years, it has not been preached.

Daniel saw four wild animals which represented the same four Gentile world empires that Nebuchadnezzar had seen in his dream: the Chaldean empire, the Persian empire, the Greco-Macedonian empire and finally, the Roman empire.  Notice now what is recorded here in Daniel 7:

Daniel 7:18:
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 

In other words, God is going to set up the Kingdom.  And now it shows what Christians who are saints have to do with it.  They are going to rule under Christ.  Christ will be the King of Kings in that Kingdom; but saints are going to be rulers under Him Ė to rule the world and to bring it peace, happiness and joy.

Verse 27:  And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Now the saints are the true Christians.  Just what is the Bible description of who is a true Christian?  A lot of people have misconceptions about what a true Christian is.  Many think that a Christian is one who joins a church.

Romans 8:9:
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

There are terms and conditions by which you can receive the Holy Spirit of God.  You were not born with it, my friends, and unless you have repented, and that you believe this Gospel and believe also in Jesus Christ and on Jesus Christ, you are not a Christian.

A real Christian is someone that is obedient to Godís laws; and these are the same laws that will govern the Kingdom of God over all mankind when that Kingdom is set up.  These laws are the way to peace; these are the ways of righteousness and holiness.  They are the ways of God and not the ways of human nature. 

Why was Jesus Christ born?  For that matter why were you and I born?  Chances are, you donít know.  Most of you have never heard or been taught that there is any purpose to you being born.  Is there any purpose for human beings being put on this earth?  What is the purpose of human life?  Most people just donít know; but there is a far greater connection than you realize, between the purpose for which you were born and put here, and why Jesus Christ was born.  There is a very close connection to the reason that He was born and the reason why you were born:

Isaiah 9:
6:  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 
7:  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

When you compare that with a New Testament passage:

Luke 1:
28:  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 
29:  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 
30:  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 
31:  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 
32:  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 
33:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

We see that this is talking about a government, and about a Kingdom. 

Luke 4:43:
And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.

Luke 8:1:
And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

Luke 19:
11:  And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12:  He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

And He went on to show that He was the one that had to go to heaven to have the Kingdom given to Him; and then in due time He will be returning.  What Gospel did Jesus command His disciples to proclaim?

Luke 9:
11:  Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 
12:  And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

He commanded His own ministers to preach the Kingdom of God.

Luke 10:
1:  After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come...
Verse 9:  And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you...
Verse 11:  Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

What about the apostle Paul?  Did he preach a different Gospel to the Gentiles?

Acts 28:
23:  And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening...
Verse 29:  And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. 
30:  And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 
31:  Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

When Jesus first announced the great news of the Kingdom of God, the people were astonished:

Matthew 7:28:
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished.

Even those who believed on Jesus Ė the same way that millions believe on Him today Ė they rejected His message Ė His Gospel.  

John 8:
30:  As he spake these words, many believed on him. 
31:  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

They believed that He was the Christ.  They believed that He was the Messiah.  They believed on Him; but they did not believe Him.  They didnít believe His message.  My friends, that message was not proclaimed for eighteen and a half centuries after the very first century apostles!

Why did He say, "If you continue in my word"?  His Word was the things that He said; it was the Gospel.  "If you continue in this Gospel then you are my disciples indeed."

Verse 32:  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...
 Verse 37:  I know that ye are Abrahamís seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

They would not accept the things that He was saying, and would not accept His Gospel.

Verse 38:  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

God the Father sent Jesus as a Messenger bearing the message which is the Good News of the coming government of God that is to rule all nations of the earth; and that is the only hope of mankind today, my friends.

I know of many world-famous scientists who say that the only hope of the world now is a single world government that governs all of the nations of the world and has all of the military power.  Letís continue on here:

Verse 40:  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham... 
Verse 42:  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 
Verse 45:  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

They hated that Gospel and they sought to kill Him.  Finally the Romans did kill Him. 

Jesus said that they would preach in His name Ė that they would preach that He is the Messiah, the Christ Ė but that they would deceive all of the nations:

Matthew 24:
4:  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 
5:  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

They will come in His name.  My friends you can check through every place in the Bible that mentions those who come in the name of Christ, and in every case they are coming as His representatives.  They are not coming taking His name and saying that it is their name.  They are coming as ministers of Christ and saying that Jesus is the Christ.  There have been a very few who have claimed they themselves were Christ.  This verse says "many"; and the many are the ministers of Christ.  They claim that He is the Christ, they preach Christ, and they believe on Christ; and yet they are deceiving the many.  How could they do that?  I have just shown you. 

He said that the end would come when this Gospel was preached:

Matthew 24:
13:  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14:  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

His disciples had asked him when the end of the world (age) would come.  If this gospel had been preached all through these eighteen and a half centuries, then He could not have said that Ė could He?  It could not have been the sign of the end of the age.